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Abu Dhabi International Triathlon Features Record Sized Field

Saturday's race promises to be one of the major events of the 2012 season.

We’re here covering Saturday’s Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, which promises to be one of the major events of the 2012 race season. A stacked field is set to participate. At today’s press conference we learned that:

A record 1,855 athletes from 62 countries, including the strongest ever line-up of elite professionals, will take their starting orders this Saturday in the United Arab Emirates’ capital for the third annual US$250,000 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, one of the fastest growing events-of-its-kind worldwide.

With a 22 percent field increase on 2011, this year’s event – which is organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority – lives up to its international billing with athletes representing six continents taking to the Corniche start line.

And with 50 of the world’s best professionals – who have notched up a combined total of 16 World Championship titles, 47 European titles, 102 national titles and 76 Ironman wins, plus more than 500 podium places – lined-up for a shot at one of the sport’s richest purses, this weekend’s flagship 223kms ‘pure power’ race is likely to be the most hotly contested to date.

“To continue seeing strong growth across all platforms for this event is encouraging, both for the future of the sport in the Middle East and for our own efforts in establishing Abu Dhabi as a leading winter training destination,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. “With more than 900 athletes flying into the emirate specifically for the event, it is also a great opportunity to demonstrate Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning credentials as a performance athletics hub, which we hope will continue to spur interest in both this event and the destination as a whole.”

Canadian pros in the field include recent Ironman 70.3 Panama champion Angela Naeth, multiple Ironman winner Heather Wurtele and Rachel McBride. Trevor Wurtele is also competing here on Saturday in the men’s pro race.

Julie Dibens, the only woman to have won on this course, is still dealing with the foot injury that plagued much of her 2011 season and won’t be competing on Saturday. She’s here at the event as an “ambassador” and will be helping with the event commentary.

We’ll have more updates from Abu Dhabi here tomorrow. Look for a feature on the event in our May issue of Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Key Men’s field

Key Women’s field

Andi Boecherer (GER)

Andrew Starykowicz (USA)

Bryan McCrystal (IRE)

Bryan Rhodes (NZ)

Chris Lieto (USA)

Clayton Fettell (AUS)

Dan Halksworth (UK)

Dirk Bockel (LUX)

Eneko Llanos (SPA)

Erich Wegscheider (USA)

Faris Al-Sultan (Team AD) (GER)

Fraser Cartmell (SCO)

Frederik Van Lierde (BEL)

James Cunnama (SA)

Jeremy Jurkiewicz (Team AD) (GER)

Johann Ackermann (FRA)

Jo Spindler (GER)

Leon Griffin (AUS)

Luke Bell (AUS)

Maik Twelsiek (Team AD)

Michael Davidson (SA)

Niclas Bock (GER)

Nicolas Munoz (ESP)

Paul Ambrose (Team AD)

Rasmus Henning (DEN)

Sam Hsieh (Short Distance) (TAI)

Stephen Bayliss (UK)

Swen Sundberg (Team AD) (GER)

Angela Neath (CAN)

Caroline Steffen (SWI)

Christie Sym (AUS)

Daniela Sammler (GER)

Emma-Kate Lidbury (UK)

Eva Nystrom (SWE)

Emi Sakai (JAP)

Heather Wurtele (CAN)

Jodie Swallow (Team AD) (UK)

Kristin Moller (Team AD) (GER)

Leanda Cave (AUS)

Lisa Ribes (USA)

Lucie Zelenkova (CZE)

Melissa Rollison (AUS)

Michelle Bremer (NZ)

Nikki Butterfield (AUS)

Rachel Joyce (UK)

Rachel McBride (CAN)

Silvia Felt (GER)

Prize Money for Professionals


Male Pro

Female Pro


































Some of the top pros who will compete at the Abu Dhabi Triathlon on Saturday
Eneko Llanos (2010 Champion), Julie Dibens (2010 and 2011 Champion) and Frederik Van Lierde (2011 Champion) with Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

Race information and photo courtesy the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon